Introducing the Briner School of Business
Founded in 1892, Greenville College offers unique educational opportunities for students to embrace their potential, enhance their skills and grow in character as they learn to serve and become moving forces in the world. Throughout the years, Greenville College has undergone several changes as society’s economic and cultural views have developed. The board of trustees has made advancements with one goal in mind – to offer a Christ-centered education for students. Currently, Greenville College is transitioning in a positive direction. Last semester, Spring 2015, the business department received the approval to change from a department to a school.
The Briner School of Business, named after the 1956 graduate Bob Briner, launched July 1. The business faculty members quickly began innovations to the new location at the Dietzman Center in preparation for the new school year. Administrators on the project made several changes to the second floor to present students with a more professional and open atmosphere. Co-founder and owner of Kauffman Brands, Kevin Kauffman, donated funds for the new modern professional style furniture. The improved second floor of Dietzman includes a sitting area, study space, conference table and technology center featuring new computers and a printer. In addition, the Briner School of Business plans to place an Apple television in the foyer so students can view current economic statistics.
Founding Dean of the Briner School of Business and Chief Legal Officer Suzanne Davis believes “everything is a business at some level.” One reason for the business department’s change to the Briner School of Business is because Greenville College will change its name to Greenville University in 2017. The change from a college to university will help the transitions in the business department be quicker and smoother because GC will already be in a season of innovation. This new path will offer more experimental learning as the Briner School of Business builds a structure of connectivity with other campus departments as well as with external businesses.
Davis networks with outside companies to connect students with employers offering possible job opportunities because she knows what companies are looking for in new employees. The Professional Business Leader class, PBL, is a great opportunity for leaders in the business field to speak to GC students and create impacting relationships. Another great opportunity coming next year is an agribusiness program. There will be many chances to start connections as networking opportunities with executives and corporate partnerships become prominent.
By bridging connections for students, the business department creates opportunities for students to obtain tangible skills which will help them get a job post graduation. Another goal of the Briner School of Business is to help students become Christian business leaders by the time they graduate Greenville College. Bob Briner, author ofRoaring Lambs (1993) and Lambs Among Wolves (1995), believed Christians need to be relevant in the business field because everything should lead to God and personal faith must be a priority. Therefore, the new school will help students learn how to be strong Christ-like examples in whatever field they go into.
Presently, the Briner School of Business is working on a student-led project called Great Jobs. This project focuses on filming and creating short videos of interviews with business leaders in their fields about topics students would be interested in. The students in the Great Jobs project conduct the interviews and ask questions so the selected interviewees can tell their stories. This helps students meet new people and obtain skills in interviewing. The selected interviewers are Kami Suess, Riley O’Regan, Malvin Hubbard, Marissa Wagley, Elsie Heckel and Lauren Stine. Great Jobs collaborates with the Digital Media students to produce the short videos. Students Aaron Phillips, Briana Phillips and Madison Moran create and design videos, animation and logos. Kami Suess and Aaron Phillips had the opportunity to fly to L.A. and interview for Great Jobs. Graduate Assistant Alexa Campbell and Teacher’s Assistant Brooke McIntire assist in the project logistically. Both Campbell and McIntire also lead Phi Beta Lambda, a business chapter which provides great opportunities for students to receive hands-on learning as they network with business leaders.
On Nov. 3, the Briner School of Business will have an official celebration to declare its beginning of an improved future. This is an opportunity for special guests from many states including California, Texas, Iowa and Washington D.C. to come and celebrate the Briner Schools of Business and possibly be interviewed by students from the Great Jobs project. Journalist Terry Mattingly, a renowned Christian leader in the marketplace will be in attendance at the celebration. Also, lawyer, author and founder of the Nation Christian Foundation Bob Fry will travel from Irvin, California to attend this special celebration. The Briner School of Business is already a great success and has made an impact on the Greenville College community. There is great reason to hope that the changes will encourage students to attend the future new and improved Greenville University.